- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Malaysia Guide (PDF)
Potential expats will no doubt have many questions about moving to Malaysia. From travel requirements and language barriers to work and schools, below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about expat life in Malaysia.
Is Kuala Lumpur the only place where I would be able to find employment?
Companies located in both Kuala Lumpur and the greater Kuala Lumpur area, otherwise known as the Klang Valley, employ many expats. There is also a significant expat community in Johor Bahru, just north of Singapore.
What languages are spoken in Malaysia?
The Malaysian population is a mix of various ethnicities, with the first language of much of the population being either Malay, Mandarin or Tamil. As part of the country's colonial heritage, English is also widely spoken and is the official language in the business world.
Are there good schools in Malaysia?
Malaysia has a good education system and expats will have a wide range of options when it comes to schooling for their children. Owing to the language barrier and numerous bureaucratic obstacles, most expats choose to send their children to international schools. There is a good selection of international schools in Malaysia, mostly based in Kuala Lumpur. These cater to various nationalities, with the majority offering the British curriculum, and others following the International Baccalaureate programme.
Should I prepare for the climate in Malaysia?
Definitely. The country experiences reasonably high temperatures throughout the year, with winter and summer only differing by a few degrees. Expats unused to the heat can easily feel drained, and we suggest staying hydrated and keeping cool to combat fatigue and heatstroke.
Do I need a bank account in Malaysia?
Most expat will certainly find having a bank account helpful. In many regions of the country, cash payments are preferred, if not mandatory, but luckily ATMs are reasonably abundant. Expats should note that some ATMs close around midnight.